How To Spot A Puppy Scam

Now that it is common for Yorkie Puppies For Sale ads to be plastered all over the internet and for a puppy mill or scammer’s website to look as good if not better than that of a reputable Yorkshire Terrier breeder, it is more important than ever for you to do your homework and not just fall in love with the irresistible picture in the Yorkie Puppy For Sale ad that you stumbled across on the internet.

I get at least one call every month from people who have been scammed in their search for a puppy, it is not uncommon and it can happen to anyone which is why it so important that you:

  • Do not send any money or sign a contract of any kind until you meet the breeder, the Yorkie puppy you are interested in purchasing and his / her parents IN PERSON!!! There is no legitimate reason for a breeder asking for a deposit to put you on their wait list or requiring a deposit before they will schedule a visit.
  • Look carefully at the breeder’s website. Do they give their name, location (doesn’t have to be exact street address, posting this could be dangerous for the breeder), a phone number? A reputable breeder will have all of that information on their site.
  • Does the website have a “buy now” button so you can buy a puppy or put down a deposit without so much as a phone call? A good breeder would never sell a puppy to someone they haven’t gotten to know.
  • Be leery of a breeder who will only communicate by text or email and refuses to speak to you by phone.
  • Google everything – the breeder’s name, kennel name, phone number and even their pictures. Scammers will steal pictures from reputable breeders to use in their ads and on their websites. I’ve had my entire site copied so make sure the URL matches the name shown on the site.
  • Check the Yorkie breeder’s social media and don’t just look at the pictures, read the comments too. It should be obvious that some of the people commenting know and have gotten pups from the breeder and are happy with them.
  • Find out what a fair price for a quality Yorkshire Terrier puppy is in your area is and be skeptical of anyone offering a Yorkie for sale that is far above or below that range.
  • Do not have a puppy shipped to you (and yes, sending a puppy on a plane with a “lap nanny” is still shipping). Once the puppy arrives you have no recourse if the pup is sick, it’s not the same puppy you saw in pictures or if your puppy never arrives.
  • Think twice about doing business with a breeder who will not let you come to their home. These breeders will offer to meet you in a parking lot or some other public place and they use the excuse that they don’t want to risk having germs brought in to their home but you have to wonder if the real reason is that they don’t want you to know where they live and how their dogs and pups are kept.
  • Avoid breeders who advertise Teacup Yorkie puppies. The same goes for “colors” like Parti and Chocolate. There is no such thing as a teacup of any breed and pure bred Yorkshire Terriers are blue and gold, period.
  • Reputable breeders do not advertise on sites like Craigs List and they don’t usually have a puppy ready to go when you call. They have a wait list and don’t need to advertise their puppies.

The bottom line is this: Don’t Rush! Take your time, do your due diligence, and trust your gut – if it doesn’t feel right it probably isn’t.

If you have any other suggestions for how to spot a puppy scam please leave them in the comments.


  1. Nancy

    Took me a year. Asking reputabke people and research. So glad to find you.

    • Sheila Mattox

      So happy I read this article. I do believe I was about to be scammed!

      • Susan ~ Let's Talk Yorkie

        I’m so glad I could help you Sheila


    Hello. I’ve been wanting a Yorkie fir a few months now but I can’t find any close enough to me that I could drive. I see a lot of breeders will ship them and say they will have them delivered to my door. I should be wary of these breeders ?


    I was scammed today. I wish I would of read this early. I sent $500 to an online breeder on facebook who blocked me right after then took down her page.

    • Saranna

      Wow! I’m so sorry about that. I’m looking for a yorkie puppy. So a afraid to get scammed. How above board did they appear? Just trying to figure out what to look for. Thank you

  4. mary sobritoc

    We live in Va. trying to find a breeder in our area. please help if you can

  5. Dana Weston

    Cor tea cup yorkies is the name of the “breeders”. They are out of Los Angeles. I have not sent them anything. I an researching and coming up with nothing bad or good. Please help.

  6. Roseann

    I found a puppy store now i am terrified!!! I read the reviews they were not from 2021 the latest 2020 it had all bad w/ 2 good reviews that I read. I am scared I can’t find a teacup yorkie anywhere except for the “ scammers” but now I’m unsure of going to this place it’s in Brooklyn NY I’m so scared my yorkie died in March my best friend died in may and my mom just died( she prayed I’d get a dog b4 she died but she had no idea she was going to die this fast I just want a puppy to love n to love me I don’t want a sick puppy- how will I know if this place is good or bad it makes me terrified to drive far, fall in love & end up like all the others on the page that has review of the store. Everyone is saying they get there dogs from a puppy mill and there all very sick/ died- is there a way to tell if there healthy or not the mini/ toy/ teacup( all the same right?) if there sick b4 purchased???

  7. Wanda Buchanan

    I’m retired and my yorkie died about a year and half ago and I’m now ready to love again. I’m so afraid of being scammed. I’ve searched for local breeders but they are so expensive. My husband has dementia and he really misses our little pepper. I would appreciated your advice. Thanks

  8. Lorraine

    I found a breeder or what he was calling himself, and I did all the checks I could with no bad marks. I sent him $500 and the rest when the puppy was delivered. I then found out he wanted $1700 for a special cage to ship the dog. I wasn’t about to pay that so I told him I wanted my $500 back. He said he bought dog food with the money. I knew I was scammed. I’d never buy from anyone that I can’t meet in person.

  9. Mari Chinich

    I am in the process of searching for a yorkie breeder on-line. Boy am I glad I read this article. You probably saved me from a lot of heartache. I’ve seen all they false terms listed here used in many ads. Thank You!


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